LEETON'S Des Driscoll was known to be a man of good heart and a straight shooter who loved his family and community.
Mr Driscoll passed away peacefully aged 84 at Leeton District Hospital on May 15 after battling mesothelioma for around four-and-a-half years.
Born at The Rock, Mr Driscoll came to Leeton as a young boy with his family and it was here his love of the shire grew exponentially.
In a twist of fate, he met his to-be wife, the late Jeanette Driscoll, in New Zealand where he was working in hospitality and travelling.
What the pair didn't know was they both hailed from Leeton, with Jeanette just a couple of years younger than Des.
Many Leeton shire residents would know of Mr Driscoll through his countless years of service to the community.
To his family, he was always a comfort, friend and joy to be around.
"We will miss him very dearly," son-in-law Michael Kidd said.
"Des loved this community and working on behalf of it.
"If you ever met Des you got to realise he was a man of great integrity and kindness.
"We're lucky to have so many wonderful memories of him."
A former Leeton Shire Council councillor, Mr Driscoll's local government service was just the tip of the iceberg.
He served as a councillor from 1991 to 2008 and he made it his mission to help progress the shire in as many ways as possible.
Mr Driscoll was at the forefront of Leeton's Tidy Towns movement, helping to secure Leeton several big accolades, including the overall Tidy Town award more than once.
He helped the Spastic Council raise thousands of dollars and put Leeton's entrants on the map, he was part of a countless number of committees including for Leeton's Australia Day celebrations, the Leeton Hospital Auxiliary, Meals on Wheels, Light Up Leeton, the Roxy Theatre, SunRice Festival and many more.
Often, Mr Driscoll was either the chairman of these groups or held executive positions.
He was also involved with the St Joseph's Catholic parish and as an accomplished ballroom dancer, helped to teach local debutante ball participants in the lead up to their big nights.
Professionally, Mr Driscoll owned his own retail store and was also a painter by trade, working on many big projects such as the Roxy over the years. He was also a staunch Australian Labor Party member for over 50 years.
At last week's Leeton Shire Council monthly ordinary meeting, Mr Driscoll was remembered with some words from mayor Paul Maytom, as well as a minute's silence.
"I served many, many years years on council with Des ... he has contributed so much to this community," councillor Maytom said.
"All you have to do is drive around town and you see his impact. Things like Jarrah Mall and the (beautifying) of our roundabouts were all made possible because of Des.
"He wanted us to have a beautiful town. I think it's important to acknowledge all of his hard work."
A former Leeton Citizen of the Year, Mr Driscoll was also pivotal in pushing for the Leeton District Hospital to be well-equipped through his many years as chairman of the auxiliary.
His family said he could always see a big future for the shire and this was something he was continually fighting for.
Mr Driscoll was a loved father and father-in-law of Leeanne and Michael Kidd, and Michelle.
He was a cherished pop to Jack and Oliver.
He was also a brother and brother-in-law to Marie and Jack (both deceased), Frank and Lorna (both deceased), Gavin and Mary (both deceased), Rita and Bill (deceased), Ray and Marie (both deceased), Betty (deceased) and Harry, and Jean and Bob (deceased).
Due to COVID-19, a restricted funeral service was held for Mr Driscoll at the St Joseph's Catholic Church in Leeton on May 21.